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University of Sheffield Student Wins Apprentice of the Year Award

19 Jan 2018

University of Sheffield Student Wins Apprentice of the Year Award

Oliver Marsh, a student from the University of Sheffield AMRC Training Centre, has won the Polymer Apprentice of the Year Award for his work which has massively reduced the manufacturing costs of a wheelie bin firm.

Mr Marsh, a 21 year old apprentice from Barnsley, has been working with Rotherham’s MGB Plastics factory in Rotherham, a leading name in wheelie bin production, and will pick up his award at an official London ceremony in February.

The apprentice’s redesign work on MGB Plastics’ bin lid fixings has lead to manufacturing cost savings of more than £130,000 a year, according to bosses at the firm.

A rather modest Mr Marsh kicked the praise upwards, saying: “It’s a privilege and an honour to get this award. Working at MGB has been brilliant. The company has given so much support and encouragement. My mentors at work have taught me how to use lean techniques and processes to drive improvements in productivity and performance.”

But, commenting on the apprentice’s achievements, technical manager for MGB Plastics, Gary Blanshard, was keen to heap the praise firmly back on the apprentice’s shoulders, saying:

“He has transformed what was already a market leading printing technology used to emboss the more than 1.5 million bins we produce each year. His forensic examination of the change-over process from one council crest to another has turned the operation into the polymer equivalent of a Formula One pit stop; fast, efficient and very slick.”

“We estimate that this improvement alone is saving the business in excess of £137,000 a year by getting the plate changes down to just 34 seconds from 10 minutes. It is a brilliant example of a single-minute exchange of die approach, which Oliver has picked up very quickly and developed with us,” added Mr Blanshard.

MGB Plastics’ technical manager put some of the success story down to having a sharp mind and a fresh pair of eyes on the job, saying that it was essential to get ‘someone on board who had no preconceived ideas of how things should be done.’

Mr Blanshard added that the only way to ensure that was to train the apprentice from scratch.

If you are looking to train up from scratch as an apprentice then we can help you find all of the best routes into your chosen career. Read our guide to UK apprenticeships and apply for places on current schemes now!

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